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Madness on the Mesa News Conference Quotes

Oct. 13, 2012

Watch Women's Hoops News Conference | Watch Fisher News Conference | Watch Men's Hoops Student-Athlete News Conference

SAN DIEGO --

Head women's basketball coach Beth Burns

Opening Statement:

First, we would really like to thank Associated Students for deciding to go with Madness on the Mesa. It's just a terrific opportunity, when you look across the street and the Marshall Faulk Foundation is honoring (former) President (Stephen L.) Weber and the excitement that's going to happen over here tonight. The first thing that comes to me is that we all are Aztecs for life, from Marshall and Dr. Weber to these young guys to my left and to my right. Just an exciting opportunity for our team, we're proud of being the defending Mountain West Conference champions. We expect to reach higher and further this year, but you can't finish until you start. This is kind of a great way to get a lot of juice. I guarantee we will practice better tomorrow because of the excitement that we'll feel tonight. We're excited to be a part of it, appreciative for Coach Fisher including us in this as well and looking forward to a terrific evening.

On whether Madness on the Mesa will be about having fun:

Without question and I think especially for us. I told our team every time we play, we have an opportunity to show someone our game. Not just ourselves, but our game. We're going to have a great time, but we also have responsibility in that if we do well and if we have fun with it, maybe some of these six, seven, eight, nine or hopefully 10,000 crazy people will decide to join us back here when we open our season. An opportunity to not only be thankful and appreciative for our fans who are excited to get things going, but a chance to get some new fans and friends as well. On added momentum because of the event: I don't know that the momentum could get much crazier. San Diego is hoops crazy right now. I went home to take a shower and get changed and my neighbor at about 4:00 said `what are you doing? You have Midnight Madness tonight. And I said, `I got a little bit of time, I'm good. I don't think they're going to start without me. The entire city is excited about basketball and that's what we do. We love basketball, it's really fun. You can feel the vibe on campus. The students have been fabulous. From our students in `Fear the Spear" to The Show and everything else. It's just really cool to be part of something special and everybody at San Diego State is part of this basketball experience.

Senior guard Courtney Clements

On Madness on the Mesa and being excited for the season:

We're very excited, especially starting off with this Midnight Madness. I've never done this before, I don't know about Chelsea. This is just a great way to start the season and we have realized what we did last year is behind us. So we have a lot to look forward to. We don't feel like we accomplished everything that we wanted to. We're really looking forward to getting the year started. First practicing well and getting some really good practices under our belt before we start our season.

Senior Guard Chelsea Hopkins

On Madness on the Mesa and being excited for the season:

Last year, we definitely raised the bar. We raised the standard for San Diego State. We want to build off everything that we did. Just like Courtney said too, we have expectations. We know that we didn't hit our peak. We know that we can do a lot better than first round NCAA Tournament. Definitely, the sky is the limit with this program. We're trying to go as far as we can possibly go and that's our ultimate goal from day one. That starts with practice and we already started with that. We know the goals that we have set for each other and definitely building off of last year. We don't see us doing any worse, definitely seeing us going farther.

Head men's basketball coach Steve Fisher

Opening statement:

Hopefully we're ready. I've flicked the dial and saw some of the other programs across the country with their beginning and the hype that surrounds it. We're very excited about our team. I know our students, our alum and the community are equally excited. I'm hopeful that we'll have a loud crowd tonight that will participate and give people that might watch us on your station, a feel for how great our fans are. I've said it a million times, one of the neatest things about the transformation of this basketball program has been the involvement, the participation of our fans. Starting with our students, they are second-to-none in this country and they have helped us win. They know they have and they feel a part of it. So we need them and they will help us again this year. Now we have players that help us also. We got that, we're excited about our team. We've got a lot of players and yet I know you can only play five. So we'll have competitive practices, we have the ability to go to the bench and be able to gain momentum at times. That being said, we've got a schedule in non-conference and a league schedule that we better be prepared to play every game and not be looking too far ahead or thinking about something good that just happened. But I like the maturity, I like the togetherness of this year's team and we're going to be good. How good remains to be seen. Hopefully we'll be as good as you think we are going to be. We think we're going to be good. Tomorrow it starts for real. Tonight, it will be fun, it will be entertainment and I'm looking forward to, like our fans, enjoying what happens. I also want to say that one of the nicest things about San Diego State basketball is that we have a women's team with Beth Burns in control that is equally exciting. So I would hope we get our viewers, our fans to come out and give the same kind of support to Beth and her team as they embark on a similar season with great expectations and a lot of talent. Hopefully we will both have success that will lead to good things all season and then into the tournament (for) postseason.

On Madness on the Mesa:

Tonight's event is generated by both our players and our students. I don't like to exaggerate, but a million people have told me let's have a Midnight Madness. Our players have asked about it prior to this year. So with the push from everybody, I said `fine, we will do it.' I allowed others on our staff and the women's staff to organize how it would go, but it will be fun. It has a lot to do with, obviously, success. There's a genuine enthusiasm, where our folks wanted it and we're going to provide it.

On whether this event will help with added momentum:

I don't think tonight will have one iota of a difference in terms of making us a better team. It will have a buzz tomorrow or a day or so (from now), but the teams that do this, they do this because they have programs that you can feel the demand that's there to have it. So we felt like that was there for us this year. I don't think this is going to have much impact on our winning. We have a building that's going to be full. I'm hoping that we get some fans tonight that may not have the luxury of getting a good seat. (They) are going to come and enjoy it and maybe they can find a way to get in over the break when there might be a few tickets available. So I'm hoping this helps us get some new fans that have desire to say, `hey, I'm a young person, I want to go to San Diego State, whether I'm a basketball player or not.' I want to come to these games. I want to be part of Madness on the Mesa.

Senior guard Chase Tapley

On lobbying Coach Fisher for Madness on the Mesa:

We've been talking about it since freshman year. We really hadn't went to him and asked him, just asked him joking around. Being my last year, it's a blessing to share with my bros and teammates.

Junior guard Jamaal Franklin

On Coach Fisher telling the team the news of having Madness on the Mesa:

It was said casually, just talking to us. Coach Fisher is a really laid back person. So he just said it to us casually, but in our minds, when he told us, we were really excited about it.

Junior guard Xavier Thames

On whether Madness on the Mesa shows that the program has reached a higher status:

Yeah, I think so. We've been working hard. Chase being here for four years, this is Jamaal's third year. The program has just been building up. It's a blessing for the San Diego State program, not just us.